WiFi card standard impinges Eye-Fi IP?

The SD Association recently added “Wireless LAN SD” to its standards — and now Eye-Fi, the company that developed and markets the eponymous WiFi-transmitting SD card, alleges the standard infringes its intellectual property.

SD Association says its standard “can transform millions of everyday consumer electronics into wireless LAN devices with portable storage and communications… Consumers will be able to transfer pictures,  videos and other content wirelessly from most existing digital cameras and digital video  cameras to web-based cloud services and between SD devices over home networks.”

Of course, that also sounds like a description of the products Eye-Fi has been marketing for years. And the company responded to the SDA’s announcement by stating in no uncertain terms “essential Eye-Fi patented technology would be violated by anyone implementing this draft specification.”

In a post on the company’s blog page, Eye-Fi CEO Yuval Koren writes, “Several years ago, Eye-Fi’s founding team realized that capturing photos or video is just the beginning, and that in an increasingly connected world, the true magic is in sharing,” Koren says. “We invested tens of millions of dollars and several years to create unique technology that lets people wirelessly transfer photos and videos directly from their camera and mobile devices.”

Furthermore, Koren states the SD Association’s announcement portrayed the draft Wireless LAN specification as an adopted new standard — which is “a flat out misrepresentation. As a matter of fact, under the SDA’s own rules, this was not possible. SDA members — and we are one — are allowed 60 days in which to respond with claims to patented intellectual property and plans around licensing that IP to the SDA. Should essential IP be presented during this process, and not offered for license, the SDA should revise the specification and begin the review cycle again. After this process, the SDA Executive Members have to vote on adopting the specification. Not only has the membership’s intellectual property disclosure window not closed, the Executive Members have also yet to vote on its adoption.”

Eye-Fi says it has disclosed its intellectual property to the SDA, “detailing multiple patents essential to the current SDA draft specification.”



Sony to invest in Olympus?

Reuters reports that fiscally-troubled Olympus be rescued by a competitor: Sony.

Fujifilm Holdings is also a reported potential investor, although it might face more regulatory issues than Sony. Both companies are apparently more interested in Olympus’ medical equipment business than its cameras’ Fujifilm already holds about a 10 percent share of the diagnostic endoscope market.

“Sony, which has relatively little experience in the healthcare sector, supplies image sensors to Olympus and is considered keen to tap into its lucrative business in diagnostic endoscopes, where it holds a 70 percent global market share,” Reuters says.

Olympus executives over many years hid $1.7 billion in accounting losses; the company recently announced it is suing 19 former execs.



JVC camcorders connect to, controlled by phone

JVC launched seven new Everio camcorders, four of which have built-in WiFi to tether to Android and iOS devices, enabling wireless transfer to the smartphone for internet sharing — and for the phone to serve as a remote control for the camcorder’s video capture.

“With Wi-Fi models, JVC fills the gap between a traditional camcorder and a smartphone by combining great image quality with advanced photographic features, such as a powerful zoom and excellent communication capabilities,” the company says.

Live Monitoring allows real-time viewing on a smartphone or computer of images taken with the Everio.

Auto Photo Email automatically emails stills taken using the Everio’s movement detection function to a computer or smartphone.

All the new Everio models record in 1920 by 1080 HD in AVCHD format. However, video clips sent from camcorder through the phone’s data connection are limited to 15 seconds long, and 640 by 360 in resolution.

The E/EX series has a 40x optical zoom. The V/VX series’ Super LoLux optics has F1.2 lens assures, and the camcorders capture hi-speed and super slow video. The GX series’ lens was “developed specifically to yield optimal results together with the 1/2.3-inch 10 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor.”

Prices range from $230 to $900. More information is here.



Casio speeds Exilim compact camera

The EX-ZR15 is a new high-speed compact camera from Casio that starts up in 0.99 seconds, focuses in 0.13 seconds, and has shot-to-shot times as low as 0.29 seconds.

The fast performance also underlies multi-shot functions such as HDR, blurred backgrounds, and stitched-together panoramas.

“The EX-ZR15 allows users to experience the pleasure of continuous shooting so no important moments are missed,” the company says, “even when using shooting modes that apply complex image processing needed for difficult scenarios, such as the HDR and HS night scene modes.”

The latest Exilim model also has 7x lens that zooms from 28 to 196mm, 3-inch LCD, and a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor.

The EX-ZR15 is $330.



More MFT support

Olympus announced three companies declared support for the Micro Four Thirds System standard, and will be introducing compliant products.

Astrodesign develops advanced imaging equipment such as a 4K camera system; Kenko Tokina and Tamron each manufacture interchangeable lenses.

“With the addition of exciting new products from these companies, the Micro Four Thirds lineup will become much more diverse,” Olympus adds, “further increasing the potential of this advanced digital imaging system.”

Olympus and Panasonic jointly announced the Micro Four Thirds System standard for compact mirror-free interchangeable lens cameras in 2008.



Canon updates six camcorders

Along with its new still cameras, Canon this month also debuted six new Vixia HD camcorders.

The company announced three compact M-series models, the M52, M50, and M500, at $750, $650 and $550, respectively. The more budget-minded entry-level R-series models — the R32, R30, and R300 are $550, $450 and $350.

The camcorders have improved functions and features to capture HD videos with high-resolution and superior quality, the company says, such as new CMOS sensor with improved low-light performance.

“Tapping into social sharing experiences,” Canon adds, it equipped select models with WiFi connectivity, with which “users can share, view and store videos wirelessly, including the ability to upload videos directly to YouTube and Facebook, or to mobile devices such as an iPhone or iPad.”



General Imaging bridges to long-zoom models

General Imaging says it is “redefining the bridge camera market” with its latest GE-branded cameras.

The X600 has a 25x zoom that starts at 26mm wide. The 14-megapixel camera captures 10 frames per second in full resolution, and 1080p HD video. A High Dynamic Range + feature combines three consecutive exposures into an optimized image, and the Multi-Exposure function combines six successive action shots into one image “for further artistic expression and photo enthusiasts.” The camera has a 2.7-inch LCD and is $200.

The X550 has a 15x /27mm lens with optical image stabilization. The 16-megapixel camera features advanced object tracking capabilities to automatically focus on moving objects, the company says, and is $150.

The G100 is a compact bridge camera with a 15x/ 28mm lens “in a sleek design.” It captures 10 frames per second and 1080p HD video. It has a 3-inch LCD, and is $180.

The company also debuted three compact cameras priced from $70–160. The 14MP E1410SW, for example, has many of the above imaging features and a 10x zoom “housed in a sleek and stylish design measuring only .7-inches thick.”

General Imaging is based in Gardena, Calif.



RIM replaces co-CEOs

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion replaced its co-chief executive officers with Thorsten Heins, now president and CEO.

Those hoping for big changes at RIM might be left wanting, however: Heins joined RIM in 2007, and was last chief operating officer.

As for the former co-CEOs: Mike Lazaridis is now vice chair of the board, and chair of the board’s new Innovation Committee; Jim Balsillie remains a director.

Research In Motion was founded in 1984 and is based in Waterloo, Ontario.

The full announcement is here.



Nokia Lumia 900 to debut on AT&T’s 4G LTE network

With the largest display available from Nokia — 4.3-inches — the Lumia 900 “delivers a rich content experience from a phone that still fits easily in your hand.”

Nokia and AT&T announced the latest Lumia 900, saying it is the first of Nokia’s Windows Phone-based line to feature high-speed LTE connectivity.

The primary camera includes Zeiss optics, with an F2.2 aperture and 28mm wide angle focal length, the company says.

AT&T adds that its 4G network “really amplifies the benefits of the Nokia Lumia 900. Sharing high quality images and videos with its integrated social networking functions is faster than ever.”



Schneider adds optics to iPhone

iPhone 4 and 4S users can add a 2x telephoto lens from Schneider Optics to enable “professional quality photographic still and video imagery,” the company says.

The new $100 tele lens narrows the iPhone’s field-of-view by half, bringing objects closer, Schneider says. “Especially useful for headshots, the new lens reduces perspective distortion resulting in more pleasing portraits than those taken with the iPhone’s native lens. The iPro Tele covers the full still and video formats of the iPhone camera without vignetting. The result is a high level of picture quality across the entire image, not just in the center.”

The iPro System features a rugged black iPhone case with a bayonet mount, the company adds, to allow the lenses to be quickly mounted and interchanged.

Schneider already offers the iPro Wide Angle and Fisheye lenses “to expand the creative options for professional imagery with the iPhone.” The iPro Wide Angle lens increases the iPhone’s field of view by 35 percent, and the Fisheye provides a 165-degree field of view “for incredible panorama shots.” Both lenses come with the case for is $200.

Schneider says its iPro lenses “are designed by the same team who are responsible for the world-renowned Century television and motion picture optics. These superior optics feature multi-element designs, top grade optical glass and high efficiency multi-layer coatings which increase light transmission and reduce lens flare. iPro lens housings are precision machined from aluminum alloy and anodized for durability.”



Sony improves back-illuminated CMOS sensor

Saying they’re aimed at future camera phones, Sony developed next-generation “stacked” back-illuminated CMOS image sensors with RGBW coding and HDR movie functions to “realizes higher image quality and superior functionality in a more compact size.”

Sony says its RGBW coding function “allows images to be captured with low noise and high picture quality even in low-light conditions,” thanks to a white pixel added to the conventional RGB array; its HDR function “allows brilliant color to be captured even in bright settings.”

The three new sensor models, with resolutions from 8 to 13 megapixel, will begin sampling in March 2012.

More information is here.


New picture printing products from Fujifilm

Fujifilm’s latest addition to its line of dry minilabs, the Frontier DL650, has a 6-color ink system “to produce vivid images with enhanced grain and gradation.”

The system prints from 3.5-by-5 inches up to 12-by-48, at speeds up to 950 4×6 prints per hour, and at resolutions up to 1440 dpi.
The inkjet printer solution can be optimized for the diverse needs of retail, commercial, and professional markets, the company says.
Also, Fuji adds, production flexibility is improved with the addition of variable paper thickness printing: The DL650 is able to print on Fujifilm’s new Thicker Dry Photo paper and Standard weight Dry Photo paper.

Fujifilm also introduced the Multi-Service Kiosk solution, saying it’s “ideal for retail photofinishers looking to drive additional revenue streams and offer more to their customers without giving up valuable floor space.”
“Multi-Service” means it does more than make 4×6 prints: the new kiosk also allows consumers to pay for domestic and international telephone bills, and prepaid tolls and cellular plans; or order ring-tones, music videos, and event tickets.
The kiosk can also pull images from online sources such as Facebook and Flickr, and connect directly to an iOS device.

Fujifilm says its ASK-300 thermal dye sublimation printer “offers all of the benefits of Fujifilm’s industry-leading commercial photo printing technology in an economically priced device. The ASK-300 is the ideal low-cost photo printing solution for retailers with limited counter space, at just over one square foot.”
As it weighs 26 pounds, the ASK-300 “is also the perfect traveling printer for event photographers,” the company adds, “allowing them to offer a variety of print sizes in seconds, on-site.”

With Xerox, Fujifilm introduced the Phaser 6270 Photobook Printer, which “provides the capability to produce stunning photo images on a variety of paper products, at a low capital investment.” It produces photobooks, folded cards, calendars, photo business cards, full color brochures, flyers, and direct mailers.

More information is here.



Greenscreen plug-in for Aperture Live Shoots

Digital Anarchy says its Primatte Event is the perfect choice for photographers who work in high volume or live environments, and often process thousands of greenscreen images for events, little league and school portraits.

“Our new Primatte Event plug-in was designed specifically for Apple’s Aperture application, and opens new possibilities for photographers who shoot a lot of greenscreen images,” the company says. “The tethering and batch features in Aperture make productivity and output much easier, and allow us to offer features that we can’t do in Photoshop.”

Primatte Event removes the chromakey screen, and the photographer can choose a new background on the fly, and print or save the final composite.

The 5.1 release also includes improvements to its AutoMask, 3-Step masking, color correction, backdrops and overlays.

Primatte Event 5.1 is $300.

More information is here.



Photodex updates ProShow

There are more than 300 updates to version 5 of ProShow Producer and ProShow Gold, says developer Photodex, “designed to improve the user interface and add unprecedented effects to users’ slideshows.”

New features include 3D tilt effects, GPU acceleration, and new slide styles and transitions.

ProShow is “an intuitive software tool that lets people easily mix photos, video clips and music together into polished video slideshows,” the company says.

ProShow Gold 5 is $70; ProShow Producer is $250.


Connected Cameras arriving now

For many years, camera manufacturers announced entry-level and affordable compact cameras at the CES tradeshow, and then, a month or two later, enthusiast and professional cameras at PMA.

This year, even though the two trade shows were held together, there were fewer camera announcements, overall, than in previous years.

Perhaps more new models will be announced at the upcoming CP+ show in Japan — or perhaps the major camera makers have learned that more is not always better.

We cover many of the new models in this week’s news, following on the Nikon D4 and others last issue. [A good complete list of new cameras is here at CNet.]

While there was not one overwhelming trend in this year’s new models, a few themes stand out:

1. Premium models both bring prestige to the brand, and higher profits than a line of all but indistinguishable entry-level cameras.

Fujifilm is claiming great success with its “X” signature line, and garnered a great bit of attention with the latest model in that premium family, the company’s first mirror-free interchangeable lens camera.

2. Bigger sensors and longer zooms continue to improve — and to differentiate standalone cameras from phones.

3. Connected cameras are arriving.

As noted here in previous weeks, as standard cameras compete with camera phones, they have to begin to better match the image sharing and visual communications capabilities of a smart phone.

Many companies have offered cameras with built-in Wi-Fi for quite a few years, and this year is no exception — but now that connectivity provides more than uploading images to a computer without a cable. For example, Kodak’s new camera sets up its own Wi-Fi hotspot, one that a phone can connect to — which enables the camera to send photos to the Internet through that phone using its data connection.

Most notably, Polaroid displayed a device that blurs the line between camera and phone: the new model runs the Android operating system and will work with the many imaging and other apps available for that OS. It also has Wi-Fi and perhaps a data connection. Does this make it a “smart camera” that can also make phone calls? Or is it “merely” a smart phone with a 16 megapixel sensor and a 3x optical zoom?

We and many other industry observers have long suggested that a camera company market a camera phone that is a good camera with connectivity and calling — not just a phone with a lousy camera crammed in. but in the intervening years phones have offered increasingly satisfying cameras, so perhaps this is no longer as imminent an issue. Also, mobile imaging senior analyst Tony Henning points out that while we may often want an optical zoom, having a mechanical, intricate glass system in the phone that we always bang about in our pockets might not be the most practical option…

In the case that the Polaroid camera does function as a phone — or if not, that some other similar device soon will — what do we call it? Does it suffice to say, “If it makes calls, it’s a phone”? Even if it is a great camera… What else do you call something that makes calls?
As said many years ago: We will have a device that makes calls, takes pictures, is connected, and a computer, etc. — and we will call it our “phone.” The usage/nomenclature is locked in.
We are not going to call it our “connected camera.”
No one will say “I have a camera that also makes calls.”
They’ll say, perhaps, “My phone takes better pictures than your phone.”

Is this merely a semantic argument? Or does its indicate who will drive the device? 6Sight president Joe Byrd thinks if it is a “phone,” it will be driven by the carriers. If it is a camera, it is driven by independent consumers (who still need a carrier system to connect to.) “I suspect carriers will not be as active in driving a better camera as consumers,” he says, “and their suppliers will be in driving a connected camera.”

What do you think? Join us in this discussion here, or on our Facebook page.



Polaroid makes connected camera smarter with Android OS



debuted an innovative camera that duplicates many of the capabilities of a camera-equipped mobile phone — because it’s a camera equipped with the Android operating system used in many phones.

The Polaroid SC1630 “makes snapping and sharing high definition digital images an instant experience,” the company says. It has a 16-megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom lens, touchscreen, and WiFi, “making uploads to social networks as easy as the touch of a button.”

As it “merges the optics of a digital still and video camera with the limitless power of the Android platform, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera evolves the process of clicking, editing, uploading and tagging to an instant experience on one device” the company adds. “You will no longer need to choose between your smart phone and your point and shoot camera because it offers the best of both worlds.”

Pricing was not announced.

Polaroid debuted an innovative camera that duplicates many of the capabilities of a camera-equipped mobile phone — because it’s a camera equipped with the Android operating system used in many phones.

The Polaroid SC1630 “makes snapping and sharing high definition digital images an instant experience,” the company says. It has a 16-megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom lens, touchscreen, and WiFi, “making uploads to social networks as easy as the touch of a button.”

As it “merges the optics of a digital still and video camera with the limitless power of the Android platform, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera evolves the process of clicking, editing, uploading and tagging to an instant experience on one device” the company adds. “You will no longer need to choose between your smart phone and your point and shoot camera because it offers the best of both worlds.”

Pricing was not announced.







Fujifilm adds mirrorless ILC to X premium line

The X-Pro1 has a magnesium alloy chassis. The “Made in Japan” moniker “confirms that every part of the construction has had to meet Fujifilm’s highest standards,” the company says.

The X-Pro1 “is poised to deliver superlative image quality that will rival currently available mid- and high-end SLR models,” Fujifilm says. It’s “another decisive step into the premium camera market,” the company adds, a move started with its X-Series camera line.

“Each element is the product of Fujifilm’s commitment to uncompromising quality,” the company says. “…The X-Pro1 is poised to become the new standard for photographers.”

The X-Pro1 interchangeable lens digital camera system features a custom 16 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor. The chip delivers resolution “superior to other APS-C sensors, and equal to even some full-frame sensors,” Fujifilm claims. The new color filter array “is inspired by the random arrangement of fine film grain,” Fuji adds, and removes the need for an optical low-pass filter to solve moiré and false color issues — and so the sensor does not suffer from degraded resolution caused by the optical low-pass filter in conventional sensors. In the array, RGB pixels are arranged in 6×6 pixel sets with high aperiodicity (randomness). Increasing the degree of randomness eliminates the fundamental cause of moiré and false colors — a problem that occurs in conventional arrays when shooting stripes and other repeating patterns, Fujifilm adds. The presence of an R, G and B pixel in every vertical and horizontal pixel series minimizes the generation of false colors and delivers higher color reproduction.

The camera also features a new hybrid multi viewfinder, and three compact fast aperture prime lenses are available: a 27mm equivalent, a 53mm equivalent at f/1.4, and F2.4 macro that is a 90mm equivalent. The new lenses are specifically designed to maximize the new mirrorless design in the body, with the X-Mount short flange back distance measuring 17.7mm, Fuji adds. “This means the rear lens elements are as close as possible to the sensor.”

The X-Pro1 will be available in February, and the price will be announced later this month.

Complete camera specifications are here.




Large-sensor, fixed-lens pocket camera from Canon

With its new flagship PowerShot, Canon is perhaps refuting the need for the compact interchangeable lens cameras that compete with its SLRs: for customers seeking a bigger sensor and better optics, there’s now a third option — one that doesn’t require add-on lenses, and that can fit in a pocket.

The $800 G1 X has the largest sensor to date for a PowerShot, the company says. Canon’s new sensor measures 18.7 by 14mm, or 1.5-inch diagonal, and has a 14-megapixel resolution. Canon says it delivers “shallow depth of field, a wide dynamic range, an ISO range of up to 12800, and incredible light gathering ability helping to ensure brilliant images in even tough low-light conditions.”

Shooting modes include RAW+JPEG, HDR, and 1080p HD video.
The camera has a 4x optical zoom lens, with an aperture of f/2.8 to f/16, and a 3-inch vari-angle LCD. When the lens is retracted, the compact body measures just 2.5 inches deep.

Canon also debuted thinner pocket zooms, and bills the PowerShot Elph 520 HS as the world’s thinnest 12x optical zoom model.

The lens starts at 28mm wide. The 10-megapixel camera has a 3-inch LCD, an ISO range of up to 3200, and also shoots 1080p HD video. It’s .08 inches thick, and $300.

Also: The PowerShot 110 HS is a new 16 megapixel mode with a 5x lens, 1080p video, and 3-inch LCD, for $250.

More information is here.



Sony adds live transmission to Bloggie camcorder

Bloggers are all but TV newscasters with the latest Sony consumer camcorder.

The Bloggie Live is the world’s first full HD pocket camera capable of live video streaming with built-in WiFi, Sony says. The MHS-TS55 model captures HD video and 12.8 megapixel stills. It has a stereo microphone, LED light, and 3-inch touchscreen.

The Bloggie Live streams video in real-time thanks to Sony’s partnership with Qik Video, a mobile video sharing service from Skype. ”Once live streaming begins, friends and family can view the video instantly on a computer, smartphone or tablet no matter how far away they are,” Sony says. [However, the full HD is apparently stored on-camera, not streamed.]

The $250 camera works with any WiFi hotspot including mobile hotspot services from leading wireless carriers, the company adds. Also, free PlayMemories Mobile application wirelessly transfers files from the camera to a phone or tablet.

Sony also debuted its Bloggie Sport camera, the MHS-TS22, billed as “a worry-free, portable camera perfect for everyday use, no matter what the environment, indoors or out.” The $180 rugged device is shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof down to 16 feet of water for an hour. It has an “underwater mode” which adjusts the white balance for underwater conditions to make colors appear natural, and a 2.7-inch touchscreen.

More information is here.




Kodak makes WiFi connections easier

With the Wireless Camera M750, Kodak says it is offering “the next advancement in WiFi sharing.”

The 16-megapixel camera represents “the perfect union of the smartphone and digital camera,” the company says. “The two technologies are now married to bring consumers the best experience from capture to share. You no longer need to connect to a computer to share your images… even if there is no WiFi network available,” as the camera will work with a phone’s WiFi connection. “Socially savvy users no longer have to compromise on image quality, now we can take great pictures and share instantly.”
The camera has a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, and a 5x zoom lens, for $170.

Kodak also updated its compact camcorder with the Playfull Dual Camera, which its says combines a 1080p/60 fps HD video camera with a 12-megapixel still camera. The pocket video device has an external microphone jack, Xenon flash, and WiFi capabilities similar to the M750’s.

More information is here.


Samsung WiFi cams zoom long


says it is “revolutionizing travel photography” with its three new WiFi-enabled long-zoom cameras.

The WiFi “facilitate sharing and saving images — wherever users are in the world,” the company adds. The Smart WiFi “aims to change the way consumers take pictures, share and store them.”

Sharing is quicker and easier than ever, the company adds. “From any hotspot, users can email photos or share them on social networks.”

The WB850F has a 16-megapixel BSI sensor, 21x optical zoom lens, 3-inch display, and a built-in GPS receiver for $380.

The WB150F has a 14-megapixel CCD, 18x zoom lens, and 3-inch display for $230.

The ST200F has a 16-megapixel sensor, 10x lens, and a 3-inch display for $200.

All the cameras have optical image stabilization, and a Live Panorama captures large scenes by holding down the shutter button and sweeping the camera.

More information is here.




Samsung monitors babies over WiFi

Video monitoring and security products maker Samsung Techwin America calls its WiFi Video Baby Monitor “the ultimate solution for parents looking to keep a safe eye on their children.”

The $149 IP-based camera features a one-touch button that automatically pairs the device to a wireless home network in under 30 seconds, the company says. No software installation is required. It has Android and iOS apps so parents can “see through the lens of the camera no matter where in the world they may be and from nearly any mobile device.” Non-visible infrared LEDs allow parents to view children in complete dark. There are also an embedded mic and speakers.

The compact design measures 1.25-inch thick and 3.15 inches in diameter. The lens can tilt 150 degrees.

“Parents turn to video baby monitors because they’re looking for peace of mind, and with Samsung’s new WiFi solution, they’re getting that and a whole lot more,” the company says. “Samsung is putting the latest in wireless and IP technologies right in the palms of parents’ hands, but has done so in a way that delivers unmatched simplicity and flexibility.”

The similar-but-not-baby-branded WiFi Surveillance Camera is also $150. Footage is recorded at 640-by-480 pixels in H.264 format. “Unlike traditional IP cameras which host video on a remote video server,” the company says, “the Samsung SmartCam leverages peer-to-peer technology for an enhanced experience. With peer-to-peer technology, Samsung makes a one-time verification — or handshake — between the SmartCam and the device that will be used to view the footage. Once that connection is made, the SmartCam is then able to stream directly to the consumer’s computer or mobile device without having to go through a remote video server that could experience significant delays with increased use.”




Samsung watches TV

Samsung is touting the system’s “simplicity and elegance” — but check out all those buttons!

The InTouch camera system “brings the Internet connected experience straight to the living rooms of consumers with ordinary HDTVs,” Samsung says. With WiFi and 720p video, “the inTouch camera system offers an elegant and compact form factor that allows it to seamlessly blend in with the design of any home entertainment system or living room.”

The $200 inTouch camera also offers a photos app that “essentially transforms an HDTV into a high-definition picture frame,” the company says. “Consumers can snap still 3MP images, or insert their own using the integrated USB port, which can be reviewed in a gallery or enjoyed in a slideshow.”

For in-home video conferencing use, the $200 inTouch is a 3-megapixel camera that can be placed on top of an HDTV, shelf or table, and tilts 30 degrees “so everyone can be in the shot,” the company says. It offers an “effortless connection to a wireless network,” to work with Skype. With an embedded mic and speakers, Samsung’s inTouch camera system “gives consumers the ability to connect with family and friends around the world in high-definition.”

It’s more than just a conferencing system: it also adds web browsing and other Internet activities to the TV, and runs the Android OS. Other pre-loaded apps include YouTube, Google News, and Weather.

More information is here.

Samsung is touting the system’s “simplicity and elegance” — but check out all those buttons!



Dropcam monitors your home with HD over WiFi


Dropcam says it offers the world’s smallest WiFi video monitoring camera with night vision, video streaming, mobile viewing and recording capabilities — all to “provide peace of mind when on the go.”

From initial setup to daily dependable service, the $149 HD camera “makes it effortless to use live and recorded video to check in on the kids, share moments of a new baby, keep an eye on a pet, or make sure your home is safe when you are away,” the company says. “The easy-to-set-up video camera integrates seamlessly with Dropcam’s online video streaming and cloud-based DVR services. Video from your Dropcam HD camera is stored in the cloud, so it doesn’t slow your computer and you never have to worry about running out of memory on your PC. And there’s no need to keep a computer running — just connect to your WiFi network.”

Users can access live video from any computer, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Two-way audio means users can respond to what they see as it happens. The night vision mode turns on automatically when a room darkens.

The free service also supplies email and push alerts when motion or audio is detected. You can also take a look back through events with Dropcam’s $10-per-month DVR service, which can record up to 30 days of video.

All video is encrypted using bank-level security standards to ensure user privacy, the San Francisco-based company adds.




JVC unveils first handheld 4K camcorder

With the GY-HMQ10, the world’s first handheld 4K camcorder, JVC says “We’re witnessing the birth of what is destined to become a broad market for full 4K end-to-end production.”

The GY-HMQ10 “is a breakthrough product that opens up 4K imaging to users who previously wouldn’t have considered it,” the company adds. It captures, records, and plays video images at four times the resolution of high definition television.

The camera delivers real-time 3840 by 2160 footage at 24p, 50p, or 60p, the company says, thanks to JVC’s LSI chip for high-speed signal processing, and a 1/2-inch CMOS imager with 8.3 million active pixels.

High resolution 4K still picture imaging has been around for several years in SLR cameras, JVC says. Motion video capture with these cameras has always been done at a lower video resolution because of lack of processing power. Likewise, high-end digital motion picture cameras may capture 4K images, but often provide a raw data output to an external storage array for later processing—again due to lack of processing power in the camera. “There just hasn’t been the ability to capture, process, display and record full 4K images in real time until now.” JVC says its exclusive Falconbrid LSI processing takes raw image data from the camera’s CMOS device and dematrixes (deBayers) it in real time. Unlike many high end 4K cameras, the GY-HMQ10 is able to output 4K images to a monitor or projection system with virtually no latency. This capability opens up applications in cinematography, medical microscopy, telepresence, specialized observation / surveillance, and live wide-view event coverage, the company says.

In addition to 4K imaging, the GY-HMQ10 also captures and records 1080i or 1080/60p full HD, with “extraordinary detail” provided by its 8.3 megapixel imager and superior lens.

The $4,995 video camera has an F2.8 10x zoom lens with optical image stabilization, and a 3.5-inch touchscreen.


More information is here.